There, as we shall see, words are engulfed in a complex section of pantomimical action which, apart from two brief interventions by Francisco and Selina, extends right up to the fall of the curtain.
Thus, if on the one hand the scene maximizes the declarative and clarifying nature of the pantomimical gestures, on the other, by intensifying the tempo of the action, it seeks to prevent or at least complicate the audience's full understanding of it.
Charles Dibdin, Jr., and Grimaldi collaborated on one of the earliest pantomimical satires of the "Whips" in a scene from Fashion's Fools, which premiered at Sadler's Wells on 3 July 1809.
The mail-coach carries out its mission not only through pantomimical "decorations" and "ensigns of triumph" (206), but also through a device common in staged dumb-show, the written sign-board or "legend." The coachman has cast De Quincey's open newspaper onto the box, "so folded that the huge capitals expressing some such legend as--GLORIOUS VICTORY, might catch the eye at once.
This essay contends that the relationship between these historical mainpieces and specific pantomimical
and hippodramatic productions speaks to a larger set of historical forces enveloping Britain at this time.